Yeast is the most essential ingredient of many pastries, especially bread. Yeast is a living organism that makes dough rise. As such, many people ask whether yeast has a place in a vegan diet. We researched this topic for you.
In recent years, an increasing number of people stop consuming animal foods and switch to plant-based diets because of ethical concerns, environmental awareness or health issues. The diet in which no animal products are consumed is called vegan nutrition.
Generally speaking, vegan individuals do not consume any food derived from animals, including meat, milk, eggs and honey. (He does not even use products such as leather and wool whenever possible.) But is yeast included in that? Let’s first look at what yeast is and how it works.
What is Yeast? How Does Yeast Swell Dough?
What we call yeast in daily life is a living thing, whose Latin name is Saccharomyces cerevisiae and is a part of the fungi kingdom. Other members of this realm are molds and fungi. Members of the fungi kingdom are categorized by biologists as “neither plants nor animals.”
Saccharomyces cerevisiae in the dough consumes starch and sugar and turns it into ethanol and carbon dioxide gas. On the other hand, it continues to reproduce continuously. In this way, it is possible to rise a whole bread with a small piece of yeast. When the dough enters the oven, a large amount of carbon dioxide is released due to the heat and the yeast dies. Heads get confused exactly at this point. Can vegans eat yeast, a living organism?
Is Yeast Vegan? Can Vegans Consume Yeast?
The Society of Those Struggling for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, known as PETA in short, states in its statement on the subject that the consumption of baker’s yeast (and other fermented foods) is not against vegan nutrition. The reason for this is that yeast is not an animal but a fungus.
These are not considered among animals as immobile, single-celled, asexual creatures. Since they do not have a brain or nervous system, they do not feel pain during cooking. Therefore, it is concluded that vegans generally do not mind consuming yeast.
On the other hand, let us remind you that not all bread and pastries are vegan. Unfortunately, breads and pastries with butter, milk or eggs are not suitable for vegan diets.